Civil servants want plum jobs

Some 40,000 civil servants have submitted requests for transfers from various areas of the public sector to well-paid jobs with the Economy and Finance Ministry, sources told Kathimerini yesterday, in a development that points to a large imbalance in the civil service. Positions at the Finance Ministry are considered to be among the best-paid in the Greek civil service. Tax inspectors are paid particularly well in an effort to make them resistant to bribes. As a result these jobs are coveted most by civil servants and bids for transfer to the ministry are a common occurrence. However, the head of the civil servants’ union (ADEDY), Spyros Papaspyrou, and sources at the Finance Ministry said that the number of transfer requests is at an all-time high. The news prompted an immediate call from the civil servants’ union for the differences between wages in the public sector to be minimized. «We have to look at the differences in wages between the various ministries and their services in order to find the basic cause,» ADEDY’s vice president Ilias Vretakos told Kathimerini. «The result of these differences is that earnings are doubled at ministries where there are extra bonuses, mainly the Economy and Finance Ministry and the Public Works Ministry,» Vretakos said. It is alleged that some civil servants seek transfers to the Finance and Public Works ministries because they hope they can boost their wages by accepting illegal bribes. Finance Ministry sources said the transfer applications would not be accepted because the only personnel the ministry needs is tax inspectors. However, the same sources indicated that around a third of current tax inspectors, customs officials and employees at the General Accounting Office are people who have transferred to those positions from other jobs in the civil service. Sources allege that many employees who have transferred in the past do not have the necessary skills for the positions they have taken on. They cite the example of a trolley bus driver who became a supervisor at a tax office.